So I guess Luther Crawford Ladd was an old man by the age of 17 when he put on the uniform and marched off to war and rode into history as the first ever to be killed by the enemy. (One of the recipients I will be blogging about later was ony 16 when he earned his Medal of Honor)
Luther was raised on the farm. There were many siblings but most died at a very early age, as did his mother.
It was just 4 days after the bombing at Fort Sumter that President Lincoln put out the call for 75,000 men to help preserve the Union. This patriot heard that call and immediately signed up and appeared at home wearing the uniform of the City Guards, better known as Lowell's Guard (6th Massachussetts Volunteer Militia.) His brother-in-law felt so angered because of his tender age that he offerred to take Luther's place, but Luther refused to trade places. In fact he chose that very unit as he felt it had the best bet of being called up first. And it was. The photo, shown here, and taken that day, was later printed in the Harpers' Weekly and was probably the last taken of the youth.
Upon arrival at Boston two young women who had been employed at the capital came to the aid of the wounded. They were sisters. They took the needy into their own home to nurse them. One of these women was none other than Clara Barton, pictured here, who would start the American Red Cross in the early 1870's.
When Private Ladd was killed... he was not the first Union soldier to die in the war. He was the first to be killed by the enemy.
As a salute was being performed by the firing of a cannon and the lowering for the final time of the flag at Fort Sumter and explosion occured. A soldier by the name of Pte Daniel Hough was killed. And this was on 14 April 1861. Hough was killed by an accident after some 35 hours of bombing of his fort, and the dropping of some 4,800 shells.. without a single death.
Private Luther C. Ladd was born 169 years ago today !